No, it's not a difficult special—you just have a lot of science courses you need to take, such as microbiology, biochemistry, biology, and chemistry—before you start taking higher-level nutrition courses. Specializing in nutrition isn't as difficult as specializing in a STEM field. Studying nutrition and dietetics is more difficult than one might think, since it involves courses that are commonly associated with a medical degree. Understanding the complex aspects of the human body as a functional and resilient organism requires studying its physical and psychological components.
A typical nutrition and dietetics curriculum includes courses in biology and chemistry, medical nutrition and nutritional therapy, food service management, and consumer science. Nutrition students have the knowledge base and skills to instruct high school students in nutrition and other related topics. As a peer advisor in the UC Davis Department of Nutrition, I know a lot of students who want to change majors because they liked NUT 10 (our lower division nutrition core class). Nutritional Science (Public Health) incorporates courses in food and nutrition, but also includes social science courses to prepare students for the public health environment.
In addition to instructing and motivating clients in exercise activities, coaches also provide nutrition and diet advice, so nutrition specialists can become some of the most qualified and versatile fitness coaches. The science of nutrition (nutritional biology) encompasses courses in food and nutrition, but brave souls who specialize in this specialty also have to take intensive calculations, physics and laboratories to prepare them for a career in the field of medicine. Students studying nutrition and medical nutrition therapy examine food options and health behaviors that include wellness, disease prevention, eating disorders, obesity, and special programs for athletes. Careers in nutrition science are growing at twice the rate of other careers, and nutrition jobs are expected to increase 15% by 2026. Of course, nutrition specialists can work as nutritionists, who are tasked with planning and administering nutritional programs for individuals or groups.
In a nutshell, the core course trains undergraduate nutrition students in the fundamentals of academic research, allowing them to keep up to date with the latest studies, developments and trends in nutrition. In addition to going to a university like everyone else, it's also possible to get a bachelor's degree in nutrition via the Internet. There are many fully accredited online schools that provide non-traditional students with the opportunity to earn a nutrition degree that employers will honor and respect.